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Old 12-21-2008, 07:38 PM   #451
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think competition forces you do develop some good things, you learn how to deal with timing, competitiveness, and non-compliance. For me, I have also gained an appreciation for how rules and paradigms impact your training and how easy it is to get myopic in your training.

Competition, just like belt testing forces you to improve and concentrate on weaknesses.

Alll good things I think.

I posted a few months back a video of a BJJ competition I did a few years ago where the guy beat me, but if you watch it from an Aikido standpoint, I was very successful and demonstrated a decent amount of martial competence by breaking away from the fight and standing while my opponent was on the ground.

I will have to find that link and post it again, as I think it was a decent example of how competition impacts your strategy.
Hey Kevin,
I remember that vid! I liked it. I think you make good points about the specialties of the different arts. They all use the same basic physics and biology, but in differing proportions. Each one might "speak" better to different individuals, but experiencing some variety can really help create a depth of understanding. Using a couple different vantages is how our eyes see depth and I think it's the same with how we sense "martial" interaction as well. To continue the analogy, we may not need two eyes to get a sufficient understanding of what's around us, but it sure does help considerably. Part of my idea for the evolution of Aikido involves the sharing of ideas like this so that when we do practice something like Ikkyo, we have a more complete engagement. For example, simply being aware that a BJJ person might do x y or z to counter a technique can make our action more powerful because internally we adjust accordingly...that's the way it seems to me at any rate.
While I think a person can train their mind to be calm in any situation (without necessarily having to be in those situation previously), I think competitive environments serve to familiarize a person with forms of aggression; and that that familiarity can prepare a person to remain centered in the face of greater aggression, such as on "da street."
In the education field these days everyone is discussing the nature of high-stakes tests (i.e. which are not entirely unlike competition or testing for a belt). Like everything there are trade-offs. My relatively short experience with Shodokan reinforced the idea that the pitfalls of competition don't necessarily pop up, particularly when you have a strong dojo community to keep people from getting too hot-headed...or whatever other problems might arise.

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 12-21-2008, 08:10 PM   #452
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

It took me a few days to remember where I read this and find it again but I feel if some folks here read it it my help clarify a few things about the evolution of Aikido and The Martial Arts.
It's one of the best interviews ever on the subject of evolution in Budo...

http://www.shindai.com/articles/takamura.htm

Those of you who know and practice with Toby Threadgill Sensei are truely blessed.

William Hazen
 
Old 12-21-2008, 09:30 PM   #453
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Yes, I agree William, those that practice with Toby Threadgill Sensei are truely blessed! Even more so I am impressed that they have the patience and discipline to practice such a comprehensive system of study of TSYR.

Having spent a weekend with Toby recently, it was quite impressive to see the understanding he has of martial arts in general. I typically shy away from Koryu stuff for a number of reasons. One, being the amount of time it takes to dedicate yourself to such a system. Two, relevancy in the modern world. Three, much of Koryu I have seen in the past is suspect to be honest. Not so, I believe with Toby.

Relevancy does not mean that I don't find it important to study a Koryu. In fact, the weekend I spent with Toby left a great impression of the importance that we have people such as him preserve it! It just is not something I have the time or patience to pursue.

Part of my the reason I am adamant that it is more about the person evolving vice the methodology was reinforced from my time with Toby.

Now, pay attention to what I am saying....here as I think it is important to look closely at what I am saying. The core values and focus of aikido is fine and evolvement would imply that we need to move onto a practice that focuses on things such as winning competitions and defeating other martial arts as a primary concern. Primary focus. that would imply that we could sacrifice correctness for "what works" or "high percentage" and marginalize principle.

That is not acceptable or right in my mind.

However, there is alot of room out there for interpretation AND there is alot I think can be done much better within the parameters of the framework we have.

Toby did not seem to have any issues with Aikido and our core framework when I worked with him. It was very apparent though that we as aikidoka can learn alot from a Koryu guy like Toby that has preserved what might be the roots of our practice.

Here is an excerpt from the website you provided that I think is important to consider.

Quote:
Another reason for learning only a part of a bujutsu system is simply time. We are not warriors 24 hours a day now. The modern world only affords us so much time to train so we practice what is realistic to learn. To learn a bujutsu completely would be a full-time job. Very few people have time or wish to make sacrifices of this magnitude for bujutsu. It is better to learn one aspect of a bujutsu well than learn all of them poorly. Also, we are free to learn what most appeals to us. Some learn the sword, some learn jujutsu, and some learn naginata (halberd). This is good in that it gives future generations freedom of choice and opportunity.

Some people think that learning only jujutsu without studying a complete bujutsu is not good. I regard that as the view of a dilettante. It is better to learn something well than to learn it poorly or to learn it to impress others because it is exclusive or difficult. Learning to impress someone else and not for yourself or for the teachers who came before you is not a proper motivation. The best martial artists are driven to train because of a love for the arts, a love for their teachers now and in the past, rather than themselves.
Aikido as it is presented in whatever form or style you practice it, brings the roots of koryu to the masses. Can it be done better? Absolutely! By competent instructors that truely understand the system and have an understanding of the martialility within it.

Can we explore aiki in various ways? Absolutely! I think the best lessons are learned through critical thinking, challenging the status quo, and exposing ourselves to other methodologies and paradigms and re-working ourselves as we find our shortfalls.

Do we need to shift or evolve the core foundations, values, or philsophy of aikido to accomplish this? that is evolve it?

No, not at all!

 
Old 12-21-2008, 09:36 PM   #454
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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It's one of the best interviews ever on the subject of evolution in Budo...
Ironically William, I do not see a bit of it in this thread. Maybe, just maybe, let's start again.
 
Old 12-21-2008, 09:45 PM   #455
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Another Excerpt from the website:

http://www.shindai.com/articles/takamura.htm

Quote:
The term “martial art” is thrown around a lot without any idea of its meaning. “Martial” means “war” or “conflict.” In a martial arts dojo we train for conflict. Without physical and psychological conflict there is no “martial” in martial art. Fear, to be overcome, must be confronted and experienced. Fear must become part of your life experience. Appreciation of fear and the appropriate reaction when confronting fear is the sign of a mature martial artist. Are not your dojo mates and teacher the ones that you should ultimately trust when learning to confront your fears? In a real dojo, they are.

Remember that most people who call themselves martial artists are nothing of the sort. Most dojos are not martial arts dojos either. They are glorified social clubs thriving in an environment of emotional stimulation which is heightened by a false or extremely limited perception of danger. When real danger shows itself in such a dojo, the participants run for cover. In a real dojo the participants run towards the conflict.
I think this is an important point to consider.

If your definition of evolvement is the above...then fine...we simply have a semantic issue.

I personally don't see this as evolvement, but really training aikido the right way.

 
Old 12-21-2008, 09:49 PM   #456
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Part of the original statements made is that Aikido is stagnate/ die and needs to move forward to evolve. Honestly, all martial arts from sumo to MMA (which I consider a sport) can't evolve. All martial arts (key word art identifying something that has lost it's usefulness/practicality, thereby, becoming an art.)

Philosophy vs. technique what is to evolve? If technique is what to be evolved then if you look at MMA it is de-evolution. Why? Because the Romans, Spartans, etc. for example, thousands of years ago had it. Well minus the art, they where all martial. Nothing new has been invented just the times and environment has changed when it comes to that type of fighting. No new techniques.

If you look at Philosophy, something more powerful than technique the major thingy that drives and shapes technique, and its development, research etc. we can say philosophy is what we really want to look at in terms of evolution. To evolve a martial art we then must evolve the philosophy and the thinking; we art talking about martial arts.

I have yet to see a martial art on the scale of Aikido that is so evolved where it matters- in its philosophy. I guess that is the difference in Aikido where the I.Q.s that approach and do Aikido are more evolved then say those in other martial sports. It is easier to go to the extreme and smash in someone's face with a fist when you have the chance then to control someone with maximum brutal unabridged violence than not.

Really, then, it is a question of sophistication of a martial art when evolution is discussed. An art like Aikido has evolved from feudal combat arts to a modern art that is as sophisticated and evolved as the times. It has benchmarks of evolution, and simply not variation.

To wrap it up, martial arts, all martial arts, are archaic. Focus on the word martial, its meaning and context over the centuries. As societies evolve so does its martial fighting ways, with the advancement of technology currently we have much more advance methods of killing each other then in a odd sided ring beating each other until a ref steps in to stop it, or the safety motion is used, the tap. Martial arts like Aikido, and MMA are rapidly losing ground to the evolution of technology for martial applications. The role martial arts, say a modern one like Krav Maga for example, has today is very small on the battle field where technology is so predominate and relied on. And how much of a role do they play in self-defense in the mist of the need for, the power of firearms, society and its laws? Not much at all.

Really what is being discussed is the evolution of martial art that have become archic, and of little use in society. We are looking back at the evolutionary tree and debating its evolution when it already has evolved. Therefore, we has humans who do these art must focus on the efforts to keep evolving the philosophy of the arts from brutal violent combat thinking to that which will fit and coinside with modern society and not de-elvolve to fuedalism thinking.

Last edited by Buck : 12-21-2008 at 09:59 PM.
 
Old 12-21-2008, 09:56 PM   #457
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Yeah, I would agree, but if we're discussing external motivation sources, I think that would ensure a greater degree of effort. Still, a bit of a hyperbole, i agree.
I believe that simply having each competitor's record follow them with their journey will ensure they do their best ( like I said before, it's human nature to compete and win. Nobody wants to lose, but if they have to, they want their opponent to earn the win).

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
Well from my perspective as a teacher it's better because it's an intrinsic approach toward motivation. Extrinsic motivation is a fine thing and is proven effective, but it doesn't apply to every situation and carries with it some pitfalls. In my experience, where competition is used as the primary means of motivation there is often a knee-jerk response mechanism in which the individual tends to compete where competition isn't appropriate. Ultimately I think this comes down to a matter of personal taste, I have no problem with a balance of the two (humans are cooperative animals also), but I personally prefer the non-competitive method as the primary source of motivation...and O Sensei seemed to also, per what I've read and been told.
Agreed. Teaching/classes should not include competition, but competition should be separate activity, preferably where all area dojos are involved( testing and grading, as well as public PR). I'd expect upper grades would be more apt to compete. I know as soon as I felt like I's proficient at a technique, I'd like to test it to make sure it's(we're) martially effective.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
You can have bad habits in competition too though. Efficacy tendancies for me are a matter of specialization and generalization. Every martial art has its various emphases that they specialize in. To get a really good sense of how they interact with each other you have to cross-train and experience the different ways people move (the benefit of mixing up training partners in my opinion...something I didn't experience much of in my brief stint with two other arts).
Agreed, but I think that'd show itself quickly in competition. what better way to "mix it up" than at a competiton that included other dojos.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote:
While I would say generally my opponants did their best, I would say it's more accurate that they tried their best to win and that that actually caused some of them to compromise their overall performance. It's a subtle shift in attention, and one which doesn't always make a difference, but my sense is that "winning" is ultimately an arbitrary goal when viewed next to simply doing your very best all the time. Personally, when I've focused on winning, I've performed worse than when I focused on doing my best.
Then I'd think that's all the more reason to focus on doing your best all the time and the win will more likely come.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-21-2008, 10:13 PM   #458
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

The interesting thing about technology is that we (the modern Army) honestly thought that technology had obsoleted the need or relevancy for martial arts.

Industrialization and Modern Warfare seemingly made the infantryman on the battlefield obsolete. We "fought" the Cold War for what about 40 years or so with two ideologies dividing the world and posturing with technology that can reach out an touch people in a very impersonal manner without ever having to face our enemy...it is all very clean, tidy, and sterile....and we talk about that which isn't clean and sterile as "collateral damage".

Our low tech enemies figured out how to fight us "in between the gaps" anyway. To the point that we are right back where we started, up close, interpersonal, and engaging with the infantryman or foot soldier as the primary frontline defender.

that frontline defender is being asked to do things more than simply killing, they are building, reconstructing, teaching, bringing supplies, and helping...all with the goal of building trust and confidence and hoping to teach people how to fish for themselves and support (insert political objective here).

Anyway,

We feel in the Army today, that empty handed martial arts ARE a vital and relevant part of the overall development of a warrior. True, we are not so concerned with developing well trained pikeman, or naginataka as those weapon systems are obsolete.

Technology DID change how we approach actual employment of firepower.

No longer is the "British Square" the doctrinal way of fighting on the battlefield today. One machine gun would prove that wrong.

At the core though is a person...a warrior....the definition of which must include the willingness to close with and destroy the enemy.

How do you develop such a person? How do you instill the basic traits necessary to exude confidence, skill, and understanding?

I think the assumption was made by many that Empty hand martial arts were irrelevant on the modern battlefield due to advancements of technology.

We are learning that at the root level though that we were wrong.

 
Old 12-21-2008, 10:15 PM   #459
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Buck wrote:

Quote:
If you look at Philosophy, something more powerful than technique the major thingy that drives and shapes technique, and its development, research etc. we can say philosophy is what we really want to look at in terms of evolution. To evolve a martial art we then must evolve the philosophy and the thinking; we art talking about martial arts.
Can you explain a little more on what exactly you feel needs to evolve concerning philosophy? Not saying you are necessarily wrong, I just don't understand what you mean by this.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 12:24 AM   #460
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
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Yes but what are your ideas on evolving Aikido?
Goodness! I don't think that I've even come close to understanding all that aikido has to offer me, much less to judge where it might have room to evolve. I'm not avoiding your question - I'm just not in a place yet where I can speak to the evolution of aikido because it I can't even see its horizons.
As far as competition goes, I'm not sure that it really means anything. I'm a good boxer and an excellent wrestler - could I beat a lot of my senpai in the ring? Sure! But that says nothing about my journey of learning. I can't confine myself to "aikido" in a competition, so it would be a competition of aikido + other background, and any victories I had in competition would not say anything about my development. Aikido and competition are so far apart in my mind that introducing one to the other just seems... irrelevant, more than anything.

I am not an expert
 
Old 12-22-2008, 01:46 AM   #461
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
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Agreed. Teaching/classes should not include competition, but competition should be separate activity, preferably where all area dojos are involved( testing and grading, as well as public PR).
So why don't you do a style which integrates competition like shodokan ("Tomiki") aikido?

Quote:
I'd expect upper grades would be more apt to compete. I know as soon as I felt like I's proficient at a technique, I'd like to test it to make sure it's(we're) martially effective.
So why don't you do sparring with people of other martial arts?

So why don't you take part in crossover seminars?

It's all there. Just do it.

Quote:
Yes but what are your ideas on evolving Aikido?
As I said before: It's not about evolving Aikido. It's about evolving your Aikido.

Carsten
 
Old 12-22-2008, 04:03 AM   #462
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
Is this the best you can do?
No, I was at 15%. A ban from this site would be a big price to pay for kicking your e-butt so I restrained myself. However, I pointed you to a place where we can go nhb if you want.

Quote:
Is it not possible for you to present your own ideas instead of attacking me for mine?
Yes it is, but talking to brick walls is not my cup of tea. Hitting them with a big hammer is more fun and productive for strengh developement, cardio and stress relieving.

If you stop acting like a brick wall I'll put the hammer back in the toolbox so we can discuss your ideas and mine like gentlemen. You choose.

Anyway,

Adding sport methods (sparring, aliveness, et c.) to aikido training, can be beneficial (at least it is for me) for the practitioneers interested in aikido as budo. I suggest to read the Threadgill Sensei "Psycho-Chemical Stress Conditioning in Budo" articles (Part I - Part II) where the issue is much better explained.

However, about the approach you're talking about:

Quote:
Then, for Aikido to futher evolve, many more Dojos need to open and be filled to capacity. In order to do that a huge nationwide marketing campaign thatd make a Aikido the coolest thing since sliced bread, with a national logo, a new and exciting and popular movie star with a series of hit movies that have kids running to sign up and practice Aikdo. The'd be Aikido branching out and incorporating with T'ai ch'i to appeal to the seniors and BJJ for the older kids and TKD for the youngsters and Tae Bo for the 'housewives' and definitly pick-up after-school care.
Err... No thanks. We don't need Aiki-McDojos here.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 09:07 AM   #463
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Adding sport methods (sparring, aliveness, et c.) to aikido training, can be beneficial (at least it is for me) for the practitioneers interested in aikido as budo. I suggest to read the Threadgill Sensei "Psycho-Chemical Stress Conditioning in Budo" articles (Part I - Part II) where the issue is much better explained.
Hi Demetrio,

Felice Navidad

Those are very interesting articles, and go to the heart of an important issue for this thread.

I also would not dispute that sports-methods can be at the core of or an adjunct to effective training.

To me, the idea of bringing one's whole being to a martial interaction (real or staged) provides a different model for training of a different flavor.

Thanks for your post.

Regards,

David
 
Old 12-22-2008, 09:22 AM   #464
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Gene, I think my sense of Aikido evolution has more to do with applying the core principles of Aikido to new contexts....
I understand what you're saying- so, if your core principles are perfect and are not capable of improving upon them, then one should look at the other facets of Aikido and see if they can be improved upon. Aikido has many facets and until they all are beyond improvement, Aikido can evolve.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-22-2008, 09:38 AM   #465
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
No, I was at 15%. A ban from this site would be a big price to pay for kicking your e-butt so I restrained myself. However, I pointed you to a place where we can go nhb if you want.Err... No thanks. We don't need Aiki-McDojos here.
Well you just remember you started it, so you're the one who needs to cease and desist. Apparently you can't handle someone who has an opposing view as your own. I'm just glad you don't speak for the entire Aikido community. Btw, newsflash, it's just not a community any more, it's an enterprise.Yep, it's a bonafide business. "Aiki-Mcdojos", as you call it, is exacly what it needs, with Mcdojo commercials and logos and jingles and action figures and happy meal toys. Right now there's so much inner fighting and "ego jousting", they couldn't muster an AIki-McBig Mac.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-22-2008, 09:40 AM   #466
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Still, all that there boils down to can your MA defeat that 6'2" 240lb MMA monster punk on steriods or that hardened felon on Crank/PCP who stands before you that wants to take you out? Are you comfortable with your MA to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere?
Not generally against howitzers, Uzis, hand grenades, M-60, aerial bombardment and a host of other possibilities of grievously unfair advantage. Not generally comfortable fighting, period. Should anyone be? Unfair advantage is the name of the game. Half of budo is the preparation -- of those unfair advantages. The other half is a matter of instantaneous will, not calculated effort or result. The best budo seems merely a idle gesture, with all the utterly natural, unwasted will behind it of scratching an sudden itch.

If you want guaranteed outcomes, then budo, like every other endeavor involving conflict, is not for you. It is not seeking to be the inevitable superior in all possible contests that impels the practitioner, but to create the willingness to engage -- no matter the disparity, nor the likely outcome.

A fight with a preordained outcome is no fight -- it is a drill. "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, .. but time and chance happeneth to them all ..." Luck is the best ally. Readiness to see it when it appears is the best budo.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
 
Old 12-22-2008, 09:54 AM   #467
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Well you just remember you started it, so you're the one who needs to cease and desist. Apparently you can't handle someone who has an opposing view as your own. I'm just glad you don't speak for the entire Aikido community. Btw, newsflash, it's just not a community any more, it's an enterprise.Yep, it's a bonafide business. "Aiki-Mcdojos", as you call it, is exacly what it needs, with Mcdojo commercials and logos and jingles and action figures and happy meal toys. Right now there's so much inner fighting and "ego jousting", they couldn't muster an AIki-McBig Mac.
Want one of these for your keikogi?

Disclaimer: Click the link at your own peril. Not for the faint-hearted.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 10:04 AM   #468
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
It took me a few days to remember where I read this and find it again but I feel if some folks here read it it my help clarify a few things about the evolution of Aikido and The Martial Arts.
It's one of the best interviews ever on the subject of evolution in Budo...

http://www.shindai.com/articles/takamura.htm

Those of you who know and practice with Toby Threadgill Sensei are truely blessed.

William Hazen
You're kidding right? That is the most brutal format I've ever seen. To me, evolution would be to shorten the narrative. it's a LOOONG winded interview. The problem I have with interviews is I have to wade thru a BUUUNCH of personal 'stuff' to find one nugget of something of value that applies to me. If you find that there's something of interest in there, please don't hesitate to share that with us. Otherwise, I'll reasd the Reader's Digest version. Imo, intelligence is directly related to being able to state a point in one sentence, using simple terms.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-22-2008, 10:05 AM   #469
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
The interesting thing about technology is that we (the modern Army) honestly thought that technology had obsoleted the need or relevancy for martial arts.

Industrialization and Modern Warfare seemingly made the infantryman on the battlefield obsolete. We "fought" the Cold War for what about 40 years or so with two ideologies dividing the world and posturing with technology that can reach out an touch people in a very impersonal manner without ever having to face our enemy...it is all very clean, tidy, and sterile....and we talk about that which isn't clean and sterile as "collateral damage".

Our low tech enemies figured out how to fight us "in between the gaps" anyway. To the point that we are right back where we started, up close, interpersonal, and engaging with the infantryman or foot soldier as the primary frontline defender.

that frontline defender is being asked to do things more than simply killing, they are building, reconstructing, teaching, bringing supplies, and helping...all with the goal of building trust and confidence and hoping to teach people how to fish for themselves and support (insert political objective here).

Anyway,

We feel in the Army today, that empty handed martial arts ARE a vital and relevant part of the overall development of a warrior. True, we are not so concerned with developing well trained pikeman, or naginataka as those weapon systems are obsolete.

Technology DID change how we approach actual employment of firepower.

No longer is the "British Square" the doctrinal way of fighting on the battlefield today. One machine gun would prove that wrong.

At the core though is a person...a warrior....the definition of which must include the willingness to close with and destroy the enemy.

How do you develop such a person? How do you instill the basic traits necessary to exude confidence, skill, and understanding?

I think the assumption was made by many that Empty hand martial arts were irrelevant on the modern battlefield due to advancements of technology.

We are learning that at the root level though that we were wrong.
Hi Kevin,

Your thoughts reminded me of a thought I had the other day. I think the military perspective creates both a need for and a rough metric of "martial effectiveness" on a group level, in which questions about the "martial effectiveness" -- or relevance, or need -- of a particular skill set or technology makes sense, even when the same question asked at the individual level becomes more problematic.

Your description reminds me of the controversy in Europe and America during the 19th Century over whether cavalry was best armed with heavy straight-edged swords as shock weapons, or lighter curved blades for melee fighting.

As I'm sure you know, different troops tended to be armed with one or the other, and were more effective in some situations than in others because in part of the way they were armed. (Reminds me of a similar recent post about Rangers and Green Berets....)

And both types of weapons were adopted from time to time as pattern weapons by, for example, the British Army.

But the question, "which is superior, the point or the edge," also is a favorite debate for European style fencing, much the same as, "which is better, striking or grappling" around here.

The orthodox view, which I found reflected in my son's fencing text the other day, is that the point is superior.

The orthodox rationale is that point-weapons and techniques emerged as the dominant set of techniques from the Renaissance onward in European dueling. Survival of the fittest kind of argument, in short. I think this argument can be challenged at the level of both the individual and as a more general statement.

As a statement about the individual fencer, this kind of claim strikes me as prone to all the same kinds of fallacies that come up when "martial effectiveness" gets discussed around here (not a criticism of anyone, by the way -- more of a pre-occupational hazard).

For example, during the mid-19th Century, reputedly on of the best swordsmen in Europe was Sir Richard Francis Burton (also a famous explorer, soldier, adventurer, spy, rake, linguist, ethnographer, member of the Royal Geographic Society, diplomat ... ).

Burton, as it happens, was very good with the saber. I would not have cared to bet on the chances of someone dueling against him simply based on whether they were armed with a "superior" thrusting sword.

Even at a group level, moreover, it is easy to misread/overread the perceived lessons of history. I recall reading a post by Toby Threadgill, I think on a sword forum, where he related that when European swordsmen arrived in Japan, the samurai "adapted" relatively quickly and effectively to this new adversary.

I do think its unquestionable that warfare has "evolved" since the day of the British square, and become much more deadly as well as expensive. At the level of the individual warrior, I find it very meaningful that your description of the kinds of attributes to be nurtured and developed endures.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Regards,

David
 
Old 12-22-2008, 10:09 AM   #470
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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....MA can't evolve...
If it can be improved, it can evolve.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-22-2008, 10:16 AM   #471
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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I think this is an important point to consider....Martial Art= misnomer....I personally don't see this as evolvement, but really training aikido the right way.
Sure, Martial = war or fighting , but what about "art"? Is MA (Aikido) an art or a science?

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-22-2008, 10:18 AM   #472
Joe McParland
 
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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I suggest to read the Threadgill Sensei "Psycho-Chemical Stress Conditioning in Budo" articles (Part I - Part II) where the issue is much better explained.
From military training forward, I do not question the need to train for the situations that we may encounter, which includes full stress from the individual level right through the "fog of war" at the command levels.

However, I liken the use of sport to accomplish this in aikido to the teaching of super-efficient striking in karate to teach the way of not fighting: Until you deeply understand and integrate what you are practicing, you are prone to act in a way contrary to your art's intent.

I suspect that a fully "evolved" aikidoka can maintain his mind under competitive situations as well as in any other situation. This to say that he can deliver a spontaneous, appropriate, "clean" attack or response---where "clean" implies an action unencumbered by any thought rooted in the competition or in anything else for that matter. But why begin training in the duality of competition and then hope to break from it?

Without the "clean" mind (from training infused with an understanding of masakatsu agatsu), the spontaneous and appropriate martial resposne (takemusu) is hampered.

My ideal for training is that one can both attack and defend purely, without any intent at all. Someone cuts with the sword without rising hate or fury, and without rising fear of hurting your training partner---he simply cuts, fully present in the act. The other person simply defends, without holding thoughts of love, protection, choice, or any other---he simply responds, fully present in the act. Within the encounter, there is no notion of winning or losing, let alone scoring a point.

This can be trained, and Threadgill's PCS can be induced, without introducing competition, which still seems entirely contrary to the philosophical underpinnings of aikido.

 
Old 12-22-2008, 10:24 AM   #473
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
The interesting thing about technology is that we (the modern Army) honestly thought that technology had obsoleted the need or relevancy for martial arts
No offense, but the Marines never forgot that fact( every Marine is a riflemen and the basic square root of war is HtH). The more things change, the more thay stay the same. America's history of war will reveal our follies. Those who fail to heed history is doomed to repeat it.

Only between a single breath is Yin/Yang in harmony
Emotion is pure energy flowing feely thru the body-Dan Millman
 
Old 12-22-2008, 10:25 AM   #474
Aikibu
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

Quote:
My ideal for training is that one can both attack and defend purely, without any intent at all. Someone cuts with the sword without rising hate or fury, and without rising fear of hurting your training partner---he simply cuts, fully present in the act. The other person simply defends, without holding thoughts of love, protection, choice, or any other---he simply responds, fully present in the act. Within the encounter, there is no notion of winning or losing, let alone scoring a point.
Great Post Joe. Thanks for your insight and clarity.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 12-22-2008 at 10:27 AM.
 
Old 12-22-2008, 10:30 AM   #475
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Re: The continued Evolution of Aikido

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Great Post Joe. Thanks for your insight and clarity.

William Hazen
Seconded.

David H
 

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